Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven

Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven

Paperback

By (author) John Eliot Gardiner

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  • Publisher: VINTAGE
  • Format: Paperback | 672 pages
  • Dimensions: 898g
  • Publication date: 3 March 2015
  • ISBN 10: 1400031435
  • ISBN 13: 9781400031436
  • Illustrations note: 24 PP. COLOR/33 ILL/MAP
  • Sales rank: 947,435

Product description

One of the Best Books of the Year * "The Economist "*" The Christian Science Monitor" * "Financial Times" * Johann Sebastian Bach is one of the most unfathomable composers in the history of music. How can such sublime work have been produced by a man who seems so ordinary, so opaque--and occasionally so intemperate? John Eliot Gardiner grew up passing one of the only two authentic portraits of Bach every day on the stairs of his parents' house, where it hung for safety during World War II. He has been studying and performing Bach ever since, and is now regarded as one of the composer's greatest living interpreters. The fruits of this lifetime's immersion are distilled in this remarkable book, grounded in the most recent Bach scholarship but moving far beyond it, and explaining in wonderful detail the ideas on which Bach drew, how he worked, how his music is constructed, how it achieves its effects--and what it can tell us about Bach the man.

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Author information

John Eliot Gardiner is one of the world's leading conductors, not only of Baroque music but across the whole repertoire. He founded the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra, the Orchestre de l'Opera de Lyon, the English Baroque Soloists, and the Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique. He has conducted most of the world's great orchestras and in many of the leading opera houses. He lives and farms in Dorset, England.

Review quote

"[I]t is hard to imagine what the English maestro John Eliot Gardiner. . . might do to surpass "Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven" in its commitment, scope and comprehensiveness. . . . [He] has done a masterly, monumental job of taking the measure of Bach the man and the musician." -"The New York Times" "With Bach we seek the elusive man hiding, perhaps, under the dense, spectacular music. . . .As eloquent a writer as he is a musician, Gardiner brings to his study the invaluable perspective of the practitioner. . . . One of the stars of the revolution over the past 50 years that has brought period instruments into the mainstream of early-music performance. . . . [Gardiner's] depth of knowledge permeates his writing." -"The New York Times Book Review" "Mr. Gardiner writes in the refreshing voice of a man who has studied and performed Bach's music for decades. . . . Like his conducting, the author's writing is lively, argumentative and passionate. He believes deeply in Bach's music and wants to understand each aspect of its construction. . . . Bach's music is one of mankind's greatest achievements, and his genius touches upon matters eternal and profound. His choral music is less well-known than it should be--especially the cantatas, which Gardiner lauds as "gripping musical works of exceptional worth." Spurred by "Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven," many listeners will discover them for the first time. In performance and now in print, Mr. Gardiner is Bach's most eloquent champion..." -"The Wall Street Journal" "It never happens often enough, but now and then, a subject gets the book it deserves. So it is with John Eliot Gardiner's "Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven," a biography so thoughtful, well-researched, and beautifully written that it should satisfy both the well-informed enthusiast and readers simply seeking to become better acquainted with a musical giant." -"The Daily Beast "Bach: Music in the Castle of Hea